I despise the word “resolution”. Not because of the meaning. In fact, I love how Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines this word:
“Fixed purpose or determination of mind; as a resolution to reform our lives; a resolution to undertake an expedition.”
The reason I don’t like it is probably because I fail miserably at “resolving”, “being resolved” or keeping my “resolutions”. I am often lousy at having fixed purpose–my mind wanders, I get distracted and then at the end of the day, week or month, I wonder what in the world I have accomplished beyond daily tasks.
My life isn’t “reformed” on its own either. God works on reforming me, but quite honestly, it takes an abundance of time. This isn’t because of any insufficiency on God’s part. I’m rather stubborn. I like to have my way and I don’t always have the greatest response to those in authority over me (even the Lord at times). That’s the real me, whether I like it or not.
So as I was thinking about making some “resolutions” for my life and our family’s life this year, I thought perhaps that I could use another word–goals. Here is what Webster has to say about that particular word:
1. The point set to bound a race, and to which they run; the mark.
2. Any starting post.
3. The end or final purpose; the end to which a design tends, or which a person aims to reach or accomplish.
Much better. I can live with that ;)
We can start somewhere, just where we are. We can have an end or purpose in mind and a point toward which we run our race, just like we’re exhorted to do in Hebrews 12. Even if we don’t reach it, we are striving toward it.
Yet in order to reach it, to make small, purposeful steps toward our goals, we are in desperate need of grace.
I’ve used the phrase “give myself grace” in the past but I’m starting to think maybe that isn’t an accurate statement about what grace really is, at least the spiritual meaning. When grace is talked about in the Bible, we are on the receiving end of it, not the giving end, for ourselves. We can give it to others, but we must be given it from God. Our arms open, we come into possession of a gift that can only be received by a repentant heart.
Recognizing that we cannot meet our goals or resolutions on our own allows us to appreciate grace all the more. Then that same grace gives us the ability to move forward toward our purpose, that purpose having been redeemed by God.
My one word for this year is grace.
The grace I receive.
The grace I give.
The grace I live by because of Christ.
How Grace is Now Part of My Blog
This year, I also have a new vision for my blog. I want it to be a place of grace. Sometimes I read articles or posts that leave me feeling burdened or discouraged. Now I’m sure that the authors don’t intend for this to happen, but there are so many “perfect” things I see out there that all those posts do for me is make feel my imperfect-ness all the more. I want my blog to be a place you all can come and see how I am trying to be purposeful within my imperfect moments. That I don’t try to make myself into something I’m not.
Another thing I often struggling with is that is seems as though we as believers try to define what perfectly obedient Christianity looks like. Things that are not Scriptural absolutes but instead personal convictions are assumed to be necessary for us to do in order to be “following God” or “a real Christian”. I read a quote once that really resonated with me. It was this:
Legalism is turning your personal conviction into someone else’s obligation.
My prayer for my blog is that it would be an encouragement to you. Exhortation and conviction sometimes follow when we speak biblical truth, but a proper balance of law and gospel should allow people to examine their own motives or behaviors before the Lord, not before me as a blogger. I don’t want you to get your theology from blogs. I’d rather you get it from the Bible.
I can’t promise I will always excel in this, but I desire my blog to be a place of grace.
That brings me to my overall point of this post (thanks for sticking with me!): I’m going to spend this year looking at what grace means according to the Bible and how it makes a difference in the life of a Christian. As I look at grace in Scripture, I’ve been discovering that it isn’t what I thought it was–it is so. much. more.
So let’s look at this beautiful word together, making 2014 a year of grace!
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Do you have a “word” for 2014? Do you find yourself discouraged or encouraged by the blogs you read? What does grace mean to you?